Bäco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of LA (podcast)

Nov 3rd, 2017 | By | Category: Featured Articles
Chef Josef Centeno

Chef Josef Centeno

WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING ENTRIES FOR THE GIVEAWAY

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF BÄCO: VIVID RECIPES FROM THE HEART OF LOS ANGELS

LA is really upping its food game, thanks in no small part to Chef Josef Centeno.

Centeno, a shy forty-something Texan originally from San Antonio, is helping to return LA’s historic core to a destination for dining and craft cocktails by capturing the not-so-shy flavors of Los Angeles on a plate (and in a glass).

He’s chef-owner of five distinct restaurants and bars (and a catering company) just steps from one another in this historic section of the city.

There’s Bäco Mercat– with flavors derived from the Eastern Mediterranean, north Africa, southern Europe, and Asia. He told me Bäco is the signature flatbread sandwich he developed. The original Bäco was a crispy pork belly and beef carnitas treat, with caraway pepper sauce and salbitxada. It’s taken many turns since then.

Bar Amá is an homage to the women who raised him and the Tex-Mex food they prepared; Ledlow offers comfort food presented in a relaxed atmosphere; there’s Orsa & Winston,  named after his two dogs, and inspired by Italian and Japanese ingredients and cooking; and, P.Y.T., a vegetable-centered restaurant, inspired by a nearby garden.

It’s an unlikely, diverse combination of eateries and flavors, unless you know Josef Centeno. He says he was inspired by his hard-working, multi-cultural extended family made up of butchers and grocery store owners and marble craftsmen. He said they worked hard and they ate hard..and very well.

I spoke with Chef Centeno in the empty classroom at Central Market Cooking School before his scheduled demo featuring recipes from his new vegetable forward cookbook Bäco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles, co-written with Betty Hallock, and published by Chronicle Books.

On first perusal, I thought: This cookbook is fusion…but on a whole new level.

Chef Centeno told me he never wanted to be placed into the “fusion” box–although he has nothing against fusion. Yet, he said he does put together flavors that on the surface don’t make sense…until they dance on your tongue. Then it’s hard to imagine them any other way.

The cookbook is arranged by flavors, textures and tastes, which seems brilliant to me. I know when I am craving something to eat, seldom is it a specific food that I desire, but a specific texture or taste–like salty and crunchy. Readers find those designations in the book.

Bäco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles is a beautiful book with mouth-watering recipes–most of the names of which I cannot pronounce. I’m giving away two copies.

ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF BÄCO: VIVID RECIPES FROM THE HEART OF LOS ANGELS

In the comments below, tell us the most unusual fusion-style dish you’ve eaten at a restaurant, prepared at home, or dream of trying one day.

  1. Be 18 years or older to enter
  2. Must be a US resident in the contiguous 48 states
  3. Only one entry per person, email and/or IP address
  4. Must include valid email address, as that is how winners will be contacted
  5. Entry must be received by Noon CT November 12, 2017
  6. Winners will be picked at random using random.org
  7. Cannot have won anything from Field & Feast in the last 90 days
  8. Reply to winner’s email from producer within 48 hours or forfeit prize
  9. Book may not be exchanged for cash or other compensation
  10. By entering this giveaway, entrant understands and agrees to the rules.

NOTE: This is a moderated site, so don’t fret if you do not see your reply immediately appear.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 comments
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  1. Thank you!

  2. I would like to experiment with Indian spices to make different kinds of tacos.

  3. Chilantro is my new favorite fusion restaraunt in Austin.

  4. Because I once lived in Japan and I understand authentic sushi, I am very particular about the sushi that I will eat in the US. I confess that I have a guilty fantasy about trying a sushi roll that includes mango and avocado.

  5. Great show

  6. I made a kimchi hot dog once!

  7. Last week I tried a Swimming Rama dish at our new local Thai Restaurant and loved it. The peanut sauce made everything superb!

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